With her passionate blog Tea For Me Please Nicole Wilson has the ultimate goal ‘to help others learn more about tea in an approachable way’. She told us about how she makes her tea at home and the importance of water. “The best water for tea is a happy medium that has some minerals and a neutral pH. I encourage tea drinkers to compare different waters and experiment to find what works best for them and the types of tea they drink most often.”
How do you make your tea at home?I make my tea at home in many different ways. It really depends on the type of tea and what I think is the best way to make it. For Japanese green tea, I’m likely to use a kyusu, while Chinese green tea might go in a glass gaiwan. The wonderful thing about tea is that it can be as casual or regimented as you want. I love a lengthy and meditative gongfu session, but I also enjoy just throwing the leaves into a big mug. When I review tea, I try my best to follow the directions that the tea company provided.
How important is water for the taste of tea?
Tea is mostly water, so the quality of the water that you use is super important. The minerals, particulates, and chemicals in water can all affect how your tea tastes. Hard water (high in minerals) has a high pH level and can make your tea taste sharp or metallic. Soft water (low in minerals) is not ideal because it can make the tea taste flat. The best water for tea is a happy medium that has some minerals and a neutral pH. I encourage tea drinkers to compare different waters and experiment to find what works best for them and the types of tea they drink most often.
How important is water for the preparation of tea?
Water is vital for the preparation of tea. Your water temperature is one of the biggest determining factors in how your tea will turn out. So many people say that they don’t like green tea because it is bitter. When I ask more questions, it is almost always because they had been using boiling water and brewing it for way too long. The way that you pour your water in, will also make a difference. For delicate teas, I recommend gently pouring the water against the side of your vessel to avoid creating too much agitation.
What water do you use at home to make tea?
I use filtered tap water when I make tea at home because it is easily accessible. Thankfully I live in an area with good quality water, but it still has chlorine and other additives that need to be removed. Spring water would be ideal, but it isn’t sustainable to transport. I also have concerns about using a large number of plastic bottles.